Life Story: The lecturer that laughed at me

by Nilesh Kumar

This happened during the first semester of my B.Tech degree.

It was our first lab period on computer programming. All the students entered into the lab.

We were asked to switch on the systems, but I couldn’t start my system.

The reason was:

1. I had no idea how to start and shutdown a computer because I had never used one before.

2. I didn’t ask anyone to help me either to start the computer.

I was not fluent in Hindi or English at the time.

I was very scared.

I am from a small village in Uttar Pradesh (India), so the only language I could speak was Bhojpuri.

Then my teacher came to me and asked “Tumne system kyu nhi start kiya?” — (Why didn’t you start your system?)

I replied, “Sir, nhi pta kaise krte hai” — (I don’t know how to do it.)

He started laughing at me and then said: “System start krna nhi aata aur branch le liye hai computer science, sbko engineer hi ban-na hai?” — (Huh? You don’t know how to start a system and you opted for Computer Science for engineering?)

And then he walked away…

The bell rang, and the period was over.

Everyone shut down their systems, and I didn’t ask for help as I was still struggling with the computer.

The teacher came back to me and started laughing again and explained to the class about my lack of knowledge in computers.

Everyone in the lab was laughing and staring at me.

I felt like crying.

At last, he told me to press Alt + F4 (I still remember his words).

This incident was really a bad experience for me, but I took it as a motivation.

This really helped me to develop myself.

Since that day, I started doing good and swore to improve myself.

Today, I do not just have a good knowledge of computers and software, I also understand the problem of various students who are from such my background.

I don’t laugh at them, or make mockery; I always try to help them. That’s what honorable people do.

Now I am in my 3rd year and last month, when the RetailOn Company came to our college for campus placement, I was the only student from the third year batch, who qualified both for the first and second round of the selection and eventually went to Bangalore for a technical and HR interview.

Many people have asked me how I improved my knowledge in English, computer as well as programming…

Here is the answer:

a. I started reading books like Basic Concepts of Computer in my first year while at the same time my batch-mates were programming in C and C++.

b. During Summer Vacation (after first year) I joined an English class.

c. In second year, I started coding.


Nilesh Kumar is a blogger, freelancer, traveler, reader, writer, singer and occasional dancer.

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